Hundreds Of U.S. Scientist’s Feared Compromised By China – April 22, 2021
More than 500 federally funded scientists are under investigation for being compromised by China and other foreign powers, the National Institutes of Health revealed.
The federal health officials told a Senate committee that they are fighting to keep up with large-scale Chinese efforts to corrupt American researchers and steal intellectual property that scientists hope will lead to biomedical advances.
NIH has contacted more than 90 institutions about more than 200 scientists they’re concerned about, said Dr. Lauer, NIH deputy director for extramural research. But the investigations’ workload is weighing down the nation’s top medical research agency, and new cases are turning up constantly across the government.
China has targeted research throughout the economy from corn growers to cancer researchers. Last year, Dr. Lauer said, more than 90% of the scientists under investigation had received support from China.
U.S. officials also have sounded the alarm that China has tried to hack COVID-19 research and is intent on pilfering U.S. science and technology because it believes American innovation will enable it to overtake the U.S. as a global superpower.
One way China and other hostile adversaries target American innovation is through government-sponsored talent recruitment programs that the U.S. government has said can involve theft of trade secrets, breaking export control laws and violating conflict of interest policies.
Former Bank Of America Employee Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $1.5 Million From Client Company – May 7, 2021
Waqas Ali was the client relationship manager for the victim company, which was a Bank of America client. Ali opened a checking account in the name of the victim company without its knowledge or authorization, and between September 2016 and July 2017, fraudulently transferred over $1.5 million from the victim company’s accounts to a fraudulent account.
Ali used over $600,000 of the funds he fraudulently obtained to fund his lifestyle and pay for luxury items, including a Porsche SUV and retail items at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Christian Louboutin and Tag Heuer.
Former Wind Farm Manger Pleads Guilty In $550,000 Embezzlement Scheme With Conspirator – May 6, 2021
Arturo Salazar was a former site manager for a Vestas-American Wind Technologies wind farm.
He pleaded guilty to his role in a $550,000 embezzlement scheme. Mr. Salazar admitted that he teamed up with Keith Krier, a conspirator, to create a sham business, BT Machine, with the sole purpose of creating fraudulent invoices. From 2016 to 2019, while Salazar worked as site manager for Vestas Wind, the conspirators presented hundreds of bogus invoices for services that BT Machine purportedly provided to Vestas.
Following payment of the invoices, Mr. Salazar the other individual would then split the money.
Mr. Salazar also used Vestas company credit cards to make unauthorized purchases totaling approximately $80,000. These personal purchases included a dump trailer, a skid steer loader, a universal terrain vehicle, and products from Amazon.
Former Sandia National Laboratory Employee Pleads Guilty To Credit Card Fraud For Personal Use – May 6. 2021
From approximately 2010 to December 2018, Joshua Cordova was employed by Sandia Corporation and later National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, which were contracted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to operate Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Cordova’s duties included providing training to military, law enforcement and emergency response personnel in the use of equipment developed at SNL. Beginning in late 2012, Cordova applied for and was issued a purchasing card funded by DOE for the limited purpose of procuring equipment and materials necessary for Cordova to perform his duties at SNL.
Cordova admitted that from at least September 2014 through September 2018 he fraudulently used his purchasing card to procure items for the personal use of himself and his family and associates. These items included: jewelry; watches, clothing; shoes; golf clubs and golf accessories; exercise equipment; toys; barber equipment, furnishings and supplies; building materials; and home appliances.
To conceal the fraudulent use of his purchasing card, Cordova made misrepresentations and false statements, claiming in his monthly reconciliation reports the purchases were legitimate items. For example, in August 2017, Cordova purchased a diamond ring for $944 from Amazon.com that was shipped to his home. In his monthly report, he represented the purchase as “2 carbon fiber Manfredo 510 tripods.
Former Trucking Company Manager Pleads Guilty To Defrauded Company Out of More Than $600,000 – May 6, 2021
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – This morning, Timothy P. Mayer, 41, of Waterloo, Illinois, appeared in federal court in East St. Louis and pled guilty to defrauding his former employer, Jung Truck
Service (“Jung Truck”) of Mascoutah, Illinois, out of more than $600,000. In addition to operating its own trucks and warehouse facilities, Jung Truck also provides maintenance services for other trucking companies. Mayer was the manager of Jung Truck’s East St. Louis location.
Beginning in July 2019, Mayer started charging expensive tires to Jung Truck’s accounts at a local tire supplier. Mayer then sold the tires on the side and pocketed the cash. The value of the tires that Mayer fraudulently charged to Jung Truck exceeded $590,000. Mayer also stole tires and brakes from Jung Truck’s inventory and sold those items on the side. Mayer’s scheme lasted until he was caught in May 2020.
Former Insurance Company Claims Processor Sentenced To Prison For $758,00+ Wire Fraud Conspiracy – May 6, 2021
Beginning December 2015 and continuing through December 2017, Smith devised a complex fraud scheme to steal money from his employer. He recruited three of his friends, who were not employed by Seven Corners to participate in his scheme. Using his position in the company, Smith created and approved fraudulent travel insurance claims purportedly submitted by FMCA claimants. He used the names of actual FMCA members on the claims without their knowledge and indicated that a claimant’s RV was towed by a towing company which sought reimbursement for that service. Smith then caused payment to be made for the fraudulent claims to each of his co-conspirators who were identified as officials of the towing companies named on the fraudulent invoices. After the co-conspirators received the proceeds, they sent approximately one-half of the funds back to Smith by wire transfer. Smith sent over $394,000 in proceeds to the co-conspirators and they sent over $194,000 back to Smith. Additionally, on 38 separate occasions between December 2015 and April 2018, Smith sent over $105,000 directly to himself. This scheme resulted in loss to Seven Corners of over $499,000.
Smith undertook other fraud schemes during his employment in which his co-conspirators were not involved. Between March 2015 and April 2018, Smith created false scenarios to submit claims through the FMCA program. He used the company credit card for 235 fraudulent transactions to purchase airline and hotel purchases for himself, family, and friends. This resulted in loss to Seven Corners of over $221,000. Between May 2015 and April 2016, Smith caused six medical service overpayments to be directed into his personal bank account. This resulted in over a $37,000 loss. The total loss to Seven Corners caused by Smith was over $758,000.
Former Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To $1Million+ Mail Fraud And Money Laundering Scheme – May 5, 2021
Rose Horne worked as a bookkeeper for a small family-run plumbing business in Fort Collins for 27 years.
From at least October 2005 through June 2011, Horne devised a scheme to steal over $1 million from her employer. Horne wrote approximately 170 unauthorized checks to herself from her employer’s payroll bank account. Horne used unauthorized checks drawn on her employer’s general business accounts to pay her personal balances as well as other personal bills. Horne forged the owner’s signature on some checks or presented checks to the authorized signatories under the guise the checks were to pay business expenses. Horne attempted to conceal the theft by writing void on check stubs, falsely writing the name of an actual vendor on the check stubs, and by cutting and blacking out portions of her employer’s bank statements that included copies of the checks in question.
Hilton Hotel Manager Charged With $1.5 Million Wire Fraud / Kickback Scheme – May 5, 2021
Geoffrey Palermo was working as the manager of a Hilton hotel located in downtown San Francisco between 2008 and 2016. During this timeframe, Palermo had authority to enter into contracts, choose contractors, and otherwise manage construction and capital improvement projects at the hotel.
Between January 2013 and June 2016, Adan Roldan was the owner of a construction company, A. Roldan Construction (ARC). Palermo hired ARC to perform various construction projects at the hotel. The indictment describes how Palermo arranged for the review and approval of millions of dollars of checks paid from Hilton’s owners to ARC based on invoices submitted by the ARC.
Much of the billing dispensed by ARC to the Hilton was contained in fraudulent and inflated invoices. Roldan allegedly created and submitted the false and fraudulent invoices as part of the scheme to conceal kickbacks to Palermo. Palermo continued to hire Roldan to perform work at the Hilton and arranged to have the fraudulent invoices paid while Roldan arranged to kick back part of the funds to Palermo. The indictment alleges that between January 2013 and June 2016, Palermo authorized issuance and payment to Roldan’s construction company of more than 450 checks totaling approximately $6.4 million.
Former Chief Financial Officer Pleads Guilty To $30 Million Embezzlement Scheme To Enrich Himself With Gifts, Luxury Travel – May 5, 2021
From at least 2011 through October 2019, when he was terminated by Alden Shoe Co., Richard Hajjar embezzled money by writing checks to himself from company bank accounts and transferring funds from company accounts to his personal accounts and to another individual. In total, Hajjar embezzled approximately $30 million which he used to enrich himself and to buy gifts and luxury travel for others close to him, including private flights to the Caribbean and diamond jewelry.
Former Hospital Medical Assistant Charged With Identity Theft Of 39 Patients – Used Forged Identities To Buy 2 Cars
A medical worker stole sensitive records from 39 patients, including elderly patients, to forge identities she then used to rent an apartment and buy two cars.,
In July 2019, the defendant used a patient’s personal information to buy a $51,000 car from a dealership..
About 3 months later, the she used another patient’s information to buy a $25,000 car from a Mazda dealership.
Former Employee Pleads Guilty To $1.6 Million Wire Scheme / Used Money For Country Club Dues, Car Payments, Clothes, Etc. – May 4, 2021
Gregory Holland was employed at American Electric Power (AEP) from 1982 until January 2018, where he worked for many years in the credit department. Specifically, Holland was responsible for managing AEP’s interests during customer bankruptcies, filing claims, and reducing debts.
Holland admitted yesterday that in 2001 he opened a personal checking account using AEP’s name and address unbeknownst to anyone else at the company. Beginning in May 2002, Holland began depositing checks into this account, written on behalf of AEP customers, and made payable to AEP. Between May 2002 and January 2018, Holland admitted to depositing more than 300 checks into this account. All the money he deposited into this account belonged to AEP. Nonetheless, Holland used the money from the account for personal expenses such as dues at the Roanoke Country Club, car payments, and clothing purchase, among other things.
Convicted Fraudster / Employee Awaiting Sentencing Charged Again In New $1.3 Million+ Embezzlement Scheme Against Another Company – May 3, 2021
In December 2019, Nicole Lescarbeau pleaded guilty to wire fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with a similar embezzlement scheme.
While out on pre-trial release in the prior case, Lescarbeau was hired as an administrator at a small, Brookline-based non-profit organization. It is alleged that Lescarbeau did not tell the non-profit about her pending indictment and applied for the position using her married name in an effort to conceal the prior charges. From August 2019 until February 2020, Lescarbeau allegedly used her position to steal funds from the non-profit for her personal use. Specifically, Lescarbeau diverted checks to herself that the non-profit had issued for legitimate business by altering the name of the payee on the checks and then depositing them into her personal bank account. It is also alleged that Lescarbeau opened a PayPal account in the non-profit’s name to make unauthorized wire transfers from the non-profit’s bank account and made transfers directly from the non-profit’s bank account to pay for her personal rent. In total, as a result of this scheme, Lescarbeau allegedly embezzled nearly $57,000 from the non-profit’s bank account.
2 Former Employees Engaged In $516,000+ Scheme To Divert / Steal Customer Payments For Their Personal Use – May 3, 2021
From February 2013 through September 2018, Joseph Spaccavento conspired with a former co-worker, Melissa Corso, to divert customer payments owed to their former employers for their own use and benefit. Corso instructed certain customers of the victim companies to submit their payments to a PayPal account (the “Scheme Account”) registered in Spaccavento’s name and associated with Corso’s work email address. The account was not authorized by the victim companies.
Spaccavento and Corso caused withdrawals to be made from the Scheme Account and diverted the funds to the personal PayPal accounts of Spaccavento, Corso, and others. Spaccavento and Corso also caused transfers of funds from the Scheme Account to various commercial retailers to pay for personal expenses. Purchases from these commercial retailers were shipped to the home and work addresses of Spaccavento, Corso, and others. The victim companies lost $516,857.
Corso was arrested on Feb. 5, 2021, and charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud for diverting customer payments owed to the victim companies to the Scheme Account for personal use. Those charges and allegations against Corso contained in the complaint, which is still pending, are merely accusations, and Corso is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Former United Airlines Employee Pleads Guilty To Ordering Plane Tickets Using Stolen Passenger Credit Card Info – April 30, 2021
Hayder Lefta while working as a United Airlines customer service representative at the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in 2018 and 2019, copied the credit card numbers of airline customers.
According to court documents, a customer who traveled through the airport on or about Sept. 17, 2018 later noticed unauthorized charges on his credit card that included $112.31 at Domino’s Pizza in Manchester, tickets on Turkish Airlines in the amounts of $2,657 and $1,488, and other attempted fraudulent charges.
The investigation also linked the Turkish Airlines tickets to Lefta. Investigators interviewed the people in whose names the tickets were purchased. They said Lefta purchased the tickets for them and they paid him $1,800 in cash.
Lefta also used the credit card numbers to purchase airline flights and meals for himself and for friends, to pay for hotels for his leisure travel and for other personal expenses.
On the devices, investigators found numerous credit card numbers on screen shots from airline computer terminals. They also recovered screen shots of passengers’ names and personal information. Investigators contacted credit card account holders one by one and identified at least 12 victims who traveled through Manchester-Boston Regional Airport and whose credit cards Lefta processed.
2 Former JP Morgan Chase & Co. Employees Plead Guilty To $ 7 Million Dollar Bank Fraud And Identity Theft Conspiracy – April 29, 2021
Abed Ahmad and his brother Alaa Ahmad, pleaded guilty to bank fraud conspiracy and conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft relating to a scheme to defraud JP Morgan Chase & Co. and its customers. Abed Ahmad also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft.
Between approximately 2012 and 2017, Abed and Alaa Ahmad, both of whom worked at branches of JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Queens, used their positions at the bank to target high-dollar value customer accounts of elderly or deceased individuals that had been dormant for a period of time. After identifying these accounts, Abed and Alaa Ahmad passed the account information, as well as the personal identifying information of the account holders, to another co-conspirator, Moustafa Ayoub. Ayoub used the account information to transfer nearly $7 million of victim funds from the JP Morgan Chase accounts to other financial accounts controlled by Ayoub.
Ayoub previously pleaded guilty in January 2021 before Judge Vitaliano to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit aggravated identity theft and aggravated identity theft. He is awaiting sentencing.
Departing Lawyers Of Law Firm Copied Firm’s Databases To Start New Firm – April 15, 2021
Departing lawyers who downloaded a “treasure trove” of proprietary materials from their Boston law firm may be liable for unfair or deceptive business practices, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled.
The court ruled for the Governo Law Firm in its lawsuit against a group of nonequity partners who at first made an offer to buy Governo and then started practice at their new law a day after their offer was rejected. The lawyers had already incorporated the new law firm, CMBG3, and they used the downloaded materials in their practice.
Governo represented insurance companies in asbestos litigation. The lawyers started secretly downloading the research library, databases and administrative files onto high-capacity thumb drives in October 2016. It cost more than $100,000 to build the library and the same amount to build the databases.
Former Netflix Vice President Of IT Operations Convicted Of Receiving Bribes And Kickbacks From Companies Contracting With Netflix – April 30, 2021
Michael Kail is the former Vice President of IT Operations at Netflix. He was convicted of wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, pay-to-play bribes and kickbacks from Tech Startups seeking to sell to Netflix.
As Netflix’s Vice President of IT Operations, Kail approved the contracts to purchase IT products and services from smaller outside vendor companies and authorized their payments. The evidence demonstrated that Kail accepted bribes in ‘kickbacks’ from nine tech companies providing products or services to Netflix. In exchange, Kail approved millions of dollars in contracts for goods and services to be provided to Netflix.
Kail ultimately received over $500,000 and stock options from these outside companies. He used his kickback payments to pay personal expenses and to buy a home in Los Gatos, California in the name of a family trust.
Former Car Salesman Charged With Wire Fraud Costing Dealership $8.7 Million – April 30, 2021
The criminal complaint alleges that Apollon Nimo, a salesman at Parkway Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram in Clinton Township, improperly trafficked in, used, and sold Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Employee Purchase Control Numbers (EPCNs). FCA EPCN’s provide discount to qualified buyers.
Nimo provided FCA EPCN’s to non-qualified car buyers from 2014 through the present. The FCA EPCNs were bought and sold through private Facebook Groups. According to the complaint, it is alleged that some, if not most, of the sales conducted by Nimo included fraudulent use of EPCNs resulting in a loss to FCA of approximately $8.7 million dollars. The complaint further alleges that Nimo profited both by selling the illegally obtained EPCNs to buyers and through bonuses FCA provided to him based on the volume of his sales. Nimo had the highest number of EPCN sales nationwide for the time period of May 2018 to August 2018 and January 2019 to March 2019.
Former Accounts Payable Clerk Sentenced To Prison For Embezzling $157,000+ From Employer – April 30, 2021
In or about August 2013, Sharon Lewis began working for a Lawrence-based company as an accounts payable clerk. Among Lewis’ responsibilities was preparing company checks to pay outstanding vendor invoices.
From about September 2017 to December 2019, Lewis used her position to divert dozens of signed vendor checks to herself for deposit into her personal bank account. On multiple occasions, to conceal her scheme, Lewis led vendors to believe that their missing payments had been lost in the mail. Over the course of the scheme, Lewis deposited at least 48 checks payable to company vendors, with a total value of more than $157,000. Lewis withdrew approximately one-third of that amount in cash and used the rest to pay personal debts and living expenses.
Former GE Research Engineer Sentenced To Prison For Stealing GE Trade Secrets To Start His Own Business – April 30, 2021
Yang Sui admitted that between about January 1, 2015 and December 21, 2017, he stole multiple electronic files that contained the General Electric Company’s trade secrets surrounding the research, development, design and manufacture of its silicon carbide metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs).
MOSFETs are small electronic semiconductors/switches that regulate the flow of electricity through devices; they are used in a variety of products.
Sui further admitted that in about 2017, he was developing a business plan to start his own company whose purpose was to manufacture and sell MOSFETs.
There was no evidence that Sui transferred the MOSFET trade secrets to anyone else.
Office Manager Charged With Embezzling $700,000+ From Employer Over 6 Years To Pay Off Her Credit Card – April 29, 2021
From 2013 until 2019, Coday-Townes (Office Manager) wrote checks using an employers’ signature stamp from Custom Built Crates’ operating accounts to pay off her personal credit cards. She also allegedly made false entries into the accounting database, indicating the checks were to vendors rather than to her personal credit cards.
Townes also allegedly entered overtime hours for herself, even though she was ineligible for overtime as a salaried employee. Townes stole $700,666.21 from her employee over the course of six years.
Tax Collector For Township And School District Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1 Million – April 29, 2021
Jeanne Bowser was the elected tax collector for Center Township, Beaver, Pennsylvania and also collected taxes for Central Valley School District. From approximately December 2011 until approximately August 2019, Bowser embezzled $1,028,183.81 in tax payments from both the township and school district. She embezzled the funds by writing checks to herself out of a bank account that was used for tax deposits and by stealing cash tax payments.
Former Bookkeeper Pleads Guilty To Embezzling $1 Million+ From Real Estate Company – April 29, 2021
From 1990, Karen Rhett managed and controlled the finances, payroll, and tax preparation for Simmons Realty and all related entities. During the course of her employment, Rhett engaged in a complex embezzlement scheme that started by falsifying the business ledgers to move money to her personal accounts and evolving into augmenting her salary, stealing directly from other employee’s paychecks, and stealing from the other Simmons Realty related entities.
According to a review by the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of bank records, checks, and other financial documents, including the hard drive Rhett used during the course of her employment, Rhett stole more than $1 million from Simmons Realty Company, its owners, and related entities. On the hard drive, agents recovered detailed spreadsheets Rhett maintained regarding the amount of money she was stealing, where the money came from, and how she falsified the business ledgers.
6 Linguists Working For Defense Charged With Recruiting Unqualified Linguists for Deployment With U.S. Armed Forces In Afghanistan – April 22, 2021
A federal grand jury in the Eastern District of Virginia charged 6 former employees of a government contractor for their role in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a U.S. government contract to recruit and deploy qualified linguists to Afghanistan where they would provide language services in Dari and Pashto to the U.S. military, including interacting with Afghan civilians and military forces.
Naval Information Warfare Center Employee Involved In $600,000 DoD Bribery Scheme – April 13, 2021
Liberty Gutierrez pleaded guilty today to conspiring to launder the proceeds of a bribery scheme involving a former employee of the Naval Information Warfare Center (NIWC) in San Diego, California, and various defense contractors.
According to Gutierrez’s plea agreement, the NIWC employee, identified in court lndividual-1, solicited and accepted things of value from various defense contractors, including three defense contractors identified in her plea agreement as Contractor-1, Contractor-2, and Contractor-3.
Among these gifts were jobs for friends and family, tickets to premier sporting events, and expensive dinners. Gutierrez further admitted that lndividual-1 solicited jobs for Gutierrez from these contractors.
In exchange for these and other gifts, lndividual-1, who was certified as a Contracting Officer Representative as part of his job at NWIC, used his position to steer millions of dollars of contracts to his favored contractors.
Mother & Daughter Teamed Together For $48,000+ Wire Fraud Conspiracy- April 28, 2021
Lois Brotherton, once provided bookkeeping and accounting services to a Kanawha County non-profit organization that formally dissolved in 2014.
In 2019, Lois Brotherton asked her daughter, Misty Brotherton-Tanner, to write her checks from the non-profit’s bank account. Lois Brotherton knew she was not entitled to those funds and that there were no funds available for her use. Misty Brotherton-Tanner agreed to steal the money and provide it to her mother. Lois Brotherton would receive the checks as though the non-profit organization had paid her money and would then electronically deposit the stolen money into her personal account. To cover the wire fraud, Misty Brotherton-Tanner would electronically transfer money from three different companies for which she provided accounting services without the companies’ knowledge, consent, or permission. As a result of this fraud scheme, Lois Brotherton conspired to steal at least $48,509.
Former Automobile Dealership Chief Financial Officer And Husband Sentenced To Prison For $20 Million+ Embezzlement Scheme Over 12 Years – April 28, 2021
A federal judge sentenced Robert Villarreal to 87 months of prison for a scheme to embezzle millions of dollars from Richardson Enterprises (RE) where his ex-wife (Tamra Villarreal) served as Chief Financial Officer.
RE owns and operates automobile dealerships in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. The husband and his ex-wife used the embezzled funds to support a lavish lifestyle.
The Villarreal’s used the stolen money to purchase a $2.7 million residence featured in the 2008 Parade of Homes. They also used the fraudulently obtained funds to pay for travel, hotels, restaurant tabs, vehicles, lavish jewelry, rare American coins from the 1800’s, gold bars, art, a collection of designer handbags and clothes valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars along with firearms and illegal controlled substances. During a four-day period from July 30, 2016 to August 2, 2016, Scott and Tamra Villarreal charged a total of $72,578.27 for three meals at a Houston restaurant on a company credit card.
Former Medical Center Comptroller Sentenced To Prison For $467,000+ Of Bank Fraud – April 28, 2021
Kristine Lynch was employed at the North Texas Medical Center (NTMC) from 2006 until August 2017 as Comptroller. As Comptroller, she was able to print checks herself, or have checks printed on her behalf.
Lynch devised a scheme to printing checks for personal use, or to have employees print them for her, drawn against the NTMC bank account. Lynch then voided the checks in the accounting system after they cleared the bank in order to disguise her scheme. Lynch spent the proceeds derived from the fraudulent checks for her own personal use. A later audit revealed that Lynch was responsible for a total of 113 fraudulent checks, resulting in a total loss of $467,280.00.
Former Director Of County Family Center Sentenced To Prison For $150,00+ Of Embezzlement – April 28, 2021
The former Executive Director of the Perry County Family Center, Shelley A. Dreyer-Aurila, was sentenced today to 15 months’ imprisonment for embezzlement of funds involving federal programs.
Shelley Dreyer-Aurila previously admitted that between 2010 and 2017, she embezzled and converted to her own personal use more than $150,000 that was under the care and control of the Center. During that period, the Center annually received more than $10,000 in federal grants from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services, to fund programs like its Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting program and its Child Abuse Prevention program.
Two Former Chick-fil-A Employees Indicted For Scheme To Steal Funds – April 28, 2021
A 16-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Larry Black, the former Director of Hospitality at Chick-fil-A Five Points, and Joshua Powell, a former Manager at the same location, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. Black was also charged with bank fraud and misuse of a social security number.
Larry Black and Joshua Powell devised and implemented a scheme to divert hundreds of thousands of dollars in customer payments between April 2018 and January 2020. Black and Powell used fraudulent email and digital payment accounts to trick customers and divert payments for catering orders and other restaurant sales to bank accounts under their personal control.
Before and during this period, Black is also alleged to have made a series of fraudulent representations to financial institutions. In January 2020, for example, Black applied for a mortgage loan. In connection with his loan application, Black forged payroll records and made misrepresentations regarding his income from the Chick-fil-A franchise. Black also provided a fictitious social security number to banks and credit unions where he held accounts. Ultimately, proceeds from the scheme to defraud Chick-fil-A Five Points were deposited into accounts at these same financial institutions.
Former Bookkeeper Charged With Stealing $2.6 Million+ Over 7 Years To Fund Gambling / Luxury Lifestyle – April 27, 2021
Angela Sabatine was employed at Delaware River Waterfront Corporation (DRWC) as the Accounting Administrator. Her duties included managing the accounts payable and receivable, bank reconciliations, and general ledger work.
Sabatine used the DRWC computerized accounting software, to create false expense items for legitimate vendors of DRWC – invoicing services that were never rendered. Sabatine then generated DRWC checks for these false expense items, manipulated the computerized accounting software to change the payee on the check from the legitimate vendor to herself, and forged the signatures of DRWC’s authorized signatories, the President and Vice President, on these unauthorized checks made payable to herself. She then spent the stolen proceeds on personal expenses, including gambling and luxury vacations. The scheme occurred over the course of at least seven years, resulting in the theft of more than $2.6 million from DRWC.
Former Phone Company Employee Pleads Guilty For Role In Cell Phone Sim Swap Scam Conspiracy – April 26, 2021
According to court documents, a SIM Swap scam is a cellular phone account takeover fraud that results in the routing of a victim’s incoming calls and text messages to a different phone. Once a perpetrator is able to swap the SIM card, it is likely he is able to obtain access to a victim’s various personal accounts, including email accounts, bank accounts, and cryptocurrency accounts, as well as any other accounts that use two-factor authentication.
From August 2017 until November 2018, Stephen Defiore worked as a sales representative for Phone Company A. In that capacity, DEFIORE had access to the accounts of Phone Company A’s customers, including the ability to switch the SIM card linked to a customer’s phone number to a different phone number.
Between October 20, 2018, and November 9, 2018, Defiore DEFIORE accepted multiple bribes, typically in the amount of approximately $500 per day, to perform SIM swaps of Phone Company A customers identified by a co-conspirator. For each SIM swap, a co-conspirator sent Defiore a customer’s phone number, a four-digit PIN, and a SIM card number to which the phone number was to be swapped. In total, Defiore received approximately $2,325 in a series of twelve payments.
Former Medical Center Employee Who Diverted Patient Blood Samples, Stole Protected Health Information – April 23, 2021
Orlando, Fla.-based DNF Medical Centers said it has fired an employee who diverted blood samples for testing from the proper medical testing labs to another laboratory.
DNF reported the breach April 15 to HHS as affecting 846 individuals.
In an April 12 DNF website notice, the medical center said it discovered Feb. 18 that the fired employee had been diverting the blood samples, along with patient data sheets that contained protected health information, including names, addresses, healthcare providers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers.
DNF said it investigated the incident and terminated the employee. It said many of the blood tests were completed and the results had been returned, but it is concerned in some cases that the results are not reliable.
Conoco – Phillips Employee Stole $3 Million+ In Fraud Scheme With Help Of Police Officer – August 20, 2020
A senior ConocoPhillips employee tricked the oil company into paying more than $3 million to a business owned by his friend, an Anchorage police officer, for work that was never performed and materials that were never received.
That’s according to wire fraud charges federal prosecutors filed Wednesday against Forrest Wright and Nathan Keays. Wright had been a senior drilling and wells planner at Conoco, and Keays is a K9 officer with the Anchorage Police Department.
Wright resigned following a civil lawsuit Conoco filed in December to get back its money. The Anchorage Police Department put Keays on paid leave in December 2020 after learning of the allegations.
A related FBI investigation led to the charges this week, though Conoco’s lawyers in the civil suit have been trying to recoup the money they say the pair stole for months, including taking control of at least 17 houses in Las Vegas that Wright’s personal investment company bought.
Conoco claims the men embezzled nearly $7.3 million, while the criminal charges so far only allege they stole about $3.1 million.
The charges say Wright and Keays have been friends since childhood. A yearbook from Fairbanks’ West Valley High School shows the two attended the school together in the late 1990s.
According to the charges, Wright conspired with Keays to make it look like Keays’s insulation-spraying business, EcoEdge Armoring, could perform services for Conoco. The charges say Wright set up EcoEdge as a vendor to Conoco — which is described in the charges simply as “Victim Business” — and instructed Keays on how to submit fraudulent invoices.
The charges say Wright received a 50 percent kickback on the money he directed to Keays.
Six Employee Arrested In $1.4 Million+ Payroll Fraud Scheme – April 22, 2021
Six defendants were arrested in San Antonio on criminal charges related to their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud two transportation companies of over $1 million.
Veronica Rios, Pedro Guillen, Mario Martinez, 48, Guadalupe Alsidez, Amanda Hernandez and Maira Vargas defrauded the transportation companies of over $1,407,000 through a payroll scheme.
Rios processed payroll for the companies. In 2017, Rios started overpaying employees in exchange for some of the overpayment. To further the scheme, Rios also added non-employees to the payroll who gave Rios part of the payments they received.
Former Ironworkers Treasurer Pleads Guilty To Stealing $50,000+ Of Union Funds – April 22, 2021
Scott Merritt was the Treasurer of Ironworkers Local 470. Merritt embezzled $50,850.71 in union funds. The defendant wrote union checks to pay various personal expenses.
Former Coca-Cola Company Chemist Convicted Of Conspiracy To Steal Trade Secrets, Economic Espionage, Theft of Trade Secrets and Wire Fraud – April 22, 202
From December 2012 through Aug. 31, 2017, Dr. Xiaorong You was employed as Principal Engineer for Global Research at Coca-Cola, which had agreements with numerous companies to conduct research and development, testing, analysis and review of various bisphenol-A-free (BPA-free) technologies.
You stole valuable trade secrets related to formulations for BPA-free coatings for the inside of beverage cans. You was granted access to the trade secrets while working at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia, and Eastman Chemical Company in Kingsport, Tennessee. The stolen trade secrets belonged to major chemical and coating companies including Akzo-Nobel, BASF, Dow Chemical, PPG, Toyochem, Sherwin Williams, and Eastman Chemical Company, and cost nearly $120,000,000 to develop.
You stole the trade secrets to set up a new BPA-free coating company in China. You and her Chinese corporate partner, Weihai Jinhong Group, received millions of dollars in Chinese government grants to support the new company (including a Thousand Talents Plan award). Documents related to You’s Thousand Talents Program application were admitted at trial; those documents, and other evidence presented at trial, showed the defendant’s intent to benefit not only Weihai Jinhong Group, but also the governments of China, the Chinese province of Shandong, and the Chinese city of Weihai, as well as her intent to benefit the Chinese Communist Party.
Nearly 2 Million Airport Workers May Pose Security Threat As U.S. Studies Cost of Screening Them – March 2, 2021
Nearly 2 million workers with unescorted access to security restricted areas at airports throughout the U.S. could pose an “Insider Threat,” according to a new federal audit, yet the government is still studying how to effectively curb the risk.
Congress has tasked the ransportation Security Administration (TSA), created after the 9/11 terrorist attacks to protect the nation’s transportation system, with submitting a plan examining the cost and feasibility of enhanced worker screening measures at American airports, but it seems that the agency cannot handle the task. The assignment was embedded in a 2018 law, TSA Modernization Act, that aims to improve the agency’s screening technologies, streamline its passenger screening process and mandate more rigorous background checks of airport workers, among other things.
Former Chase Bank Teller Charged With $32,000 Of Bank Fraud For Targeting Older Adult Victim – April 21, 2021
It is alleged in the indictment that in August 2016, while working as a teller at a Chase Bank in Detroit, Alan Hardy defrauded a victim’s account of at least $32,000 in a single withdrawal. The victim in this case was over 90 years old at the time of the fraud. To date, the victim, has received no compensation for the money taken from his account.
University Mathematics Professor / Researcher Charged With $151,000+ Of Grant Fraud – April 21, 2021
Mingqing Xiao was a Mathematics Professor / Researcher at Southern Illinois University.
Xiao fraudulently obtained $151,099 in federal grant money from the National Science Foundation (NSF) by concealing support he was receiving from the Chinese government and a Chinese university.
Xiao also allegedly failed to inform NSF that he was on the payroll of Shenzhen University, a public university in Guangdong Province, and that he had already committed to teaching and conducting research at Shenzhen University from 2018 to 2023.
Former Call Center Representative For Insurance Company Charged In $62,000 Elder Fraud Scheme – April 21, 2021
From November 2018 to November 2019, Andrew Thomas was employed as a Call Center Representative for an insurance company with an office in Cleveland, Ohio. He was tasked with speaking to clients and their agents regarding annuities, updating client bank account information and processing withdrawal transactions.
Thomas devised a scam to defraud three elderly victims by transferring money from his victim’s annuities into his personal bank accounts. Court documents state that Victim 1 was an 84-year-old woman, Victim 2, was an 83-year woman with dementia, and Victim 3, was a 96-year-old woman.
Former Nursing Home Employee Arrested For $7,400 Financial Exploitation Scheme Of Elderly Adults – April 20, 2021
Valerie Williams was the Business Officer Coordinator at Transitions Healthcare Capital City, a skilled nursing facility in the District.
Between October 2018 and August 2019, she used her position to steal $7,421 from seven elderly residents and four vulnerable adult residents at the facility.
Williams forged the signatures of these residents to withdraw funds from the residents’ accounts managed by the facility. In two instances she also redirected money orders intended for residents into her own account.
Indianapolis FedEx Shooter Was Former FedEx Employee – April 20, 2021
Brandon Hole, a 19-year-old Indiana man, opened fire at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, killing at least eight people and wounding more.
Hole was a former FedEx employee at the same facility.
Indianapolis Deputy Police Chief Craig McCartt stated they had responded to Hole’s home last year after reports of a man voicing suicidal ideas, which he repeated to responding officers. Hole had reportedly just purchased a shotgun, and the police department’s behavioral unit took him into custody and then to a hospital for mental health treatment. They also confiscated the gun.
New York Grocery Store Shooting: 1 killed, Others Shot By Employee With Criminal Record – April 20, 2021
Gabriel Wilson, is a shopping cart wrangler at the Stop & Shop grocery stores in West Hempstead, New York.
Wilson went to the offices immediately after arriving for work, wounding a man and a woman in one room before going down the hall and killing a 49-year-old store manager.
Wilson was involved in a shooting in Baltimore in 2014, records show. Police said Wilson and another man fired shots at each other and were hospitalized with lower body wounds. Attempted murder charges against Wilson in that case were later dropped, records show.
Wilson has a criminal record and had been taken into custody previously in Nassau County for a mental health evaluation.